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AIBU to turn off reviews?

(21 Posts)
lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 08:56:27

If you were looking at an after school club and/or playscheme page on Facebook and they'd turned reviews off would that put you off?

I am so pissed off with people giving shit reviews for shit reasons. We had our registration for Easter last week and someone has already "only been able to give 3 stars" because they don't like the choice of day trip. It's 3 hours child care a day for 4 days then one whole day (for the trip) for £7.50 - daily snack and lunch on trip day included. I mean FFS!

Also had another review a few weeks back stating that we were over officious and picky because for "a few hours" care we insisted on "a bundle of paperwork" i.e. a registration form and an emergency contact... when we were stepping in to help parents who struggled with a half day school closing (it was unexpected as it was for the funeral of a teacher).

Devilishpyjamas Mon 06-Mar-17 09:02:08

I barely notice if reviews are turned off. But I might notice a bad one. Although TBH if I read those I would think the reviewers were bonkers. You could reply politely and non defensively. That would make me like you!

coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 06-Mar-17 09:05:12

I agree with Devilish. Leave the reviews up but reply on a calm manner to them if it's possible. I love reading randy reviews on TripAdvisor and then reading the calm answer back where everything is explained and is perfectly reasonable!
I appreciate yours won't be on TripAdvisor though.

coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 06-Mar-17 09:05:48

*ranty

Although randy reviews would be interesting grin

coffeetasteslikeshit Mon 06-Mar-17 09:07:40

Oh and if it's Facebook then I never notice the reviews. I consider them pointless. I have one review on my Facebook page by someone who's never even a client.

IamFriedSpam Mon 06-Mar-17 09:15:21

I don't trust Facebook reviews because they seem to have a higher proportion of reviewers written by idiots. If I see a bad review elsewhere I always feel better if the owner has responded personally and politely (not with an abusive rant as I've seen somewhere!).

lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 09:31:31

Right, calm replies seem to be the best course of action...

So to the first one does - Sorry to hear you don't rate X place. The children at each playscheme are encouraged to put trip ideas into the suggestion box and X place got the most suggestions during our last week.

We will be eating our lunch in a private room next to the education centre so won't be affected by the queues in the cafe area. There are toilets in the area we will be in and we have sole use of it for the day.

Y place is certainly somewhere we will look into for future trips, it wasn't possible to consider it this time as we'd already applied for our funding before it opened and it is more expensive than X place so out of our reach this time around.

Sound ok?

As for the second one - Due to us being a separate organisation it wasn't possible for the school to share your child's details with us and it is a requirement for us to have basic details before we can provide even a minute of care for a child. Fortunately the fire alarm that afternoon was a false alarm, but showed that even with the best plans we simply must have contact details for parents and an emergency contact because anything could happen on any given day.

Sonders Mon 06-Mar-17 09:41:04

lalalyra I wouldn't notice if you turned them off but a thoughtful reply on a negative review is more helpful than a positive review!

If I were you, I would reply to these awkward ones and then try to encourage other parents to leave reviews, e.g. a quick chat on pick up

SheSparkles Mon 06-Mar-17 09:45:30

Your response to the first one is spot on, and for the second, I'd insert the word "legal" before requirement.
Some people are nuts!

lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 11:01:14

I've gone with the first one as it was and changed the second one a bit -

Due to us being a separate organisation it wasn't possible for the school to share your child's details with us and it is a legal requirement for us to have basic details before we can provide even a minute of care for a child. Fortunately the fire alarm that afternoon was a false alarm, but showed that even with the best plans we simply must have contact details for parents and an emergency contact because anything could happen on any given day.

The suggestion put in the box to modify our registration procedure wasn't ignored. It was discussed at our committee meeting, however it was decided that as OFSTED have approved our current set up we should keep it as it is.

All volunteers are DBS checked, there are always at least two with first aid training present at each session (currently all members of the committee and all regular volunteers have completed first aid training) and we always strictly adhere to OFSTED ratios.

The area we use is locked during sessions. The school caretaker does have a key which can open the door from the outside, however this is only used to allow him to check the area should we evacuate through the emergency exits as we obviously would not delay our exit to unlock the door. This setup is one that was put in place by OFSTED when the playscheme was first set up in 2002.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 06-Mar-17 11:21:13

I only read FB reviews for the entertainment value

Your responses sound excellent

hesterton Mon 06-Mar-17 11:51:18

If I read the review and then your response I would think the reviewer was ridiculous and you were highly professional. It would attract me to your provision.

Springersrock Mon 06-Mar-17 11:57:19

I probably wouldn't notice if reviews were turned off, and ignore obviously stupid reviews like that anyway.

I noticed someone gave a popular local restaurant a 1 star review the other day because they'd been unable to book a table at a time they wanted so "couldn't give it anymore".

Your responses sound fab

msannabella Mon 06-Mar-17 12:12:01

I tend to notice if businesses have turned off reviews/visitor posts on Facebook and will be a bit sceptical. I think leaving them on there and replying in the calm manner you've put above would make me think more of you. It looks like you are more willing to listen to somebody's issues (even if some are unreasonable, like these!) and would make me more likely to use your business.

ThePants999 Mon 06-Mar-17 12:44:31

Reviews with replies are my favourite way to form a judgment about an organisation. Positive reviews = positive opinion. Excellent replies to negative reviews, such as those you've drafted = positive opinion. Ranty replies to the slightest criticism = very negative opinion! And, yes, reviews disabled = negative opinion.

I would be tempted to turn them off- I run an asc, I know how impossible it is to keep everyone else happy!

For your registration forms, I now have ours online as a Google doc form. We still ask for exactly the same info as we always did but it causes far less whinging!

I think childcare is slightly different for reviews being public because sometimes confidentiality ties your hands and means you can't respond as freely as you might otherwise do. Not in these specific examples, but it can be an issue.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Mon 06-Mar-17 13:48:15

Dh works in social media marketing and found out that at least one negative review is beneficial.

Viewers had a more positive response to a business with generally good reviews and a couple of bad ones that a business with all good reviews.

I think leaving them up and having a polite and comprehensive response is best, it shows you in a good light, and proves that if a customer has a concern (even a daft one) you will make an effort to resolve it.

lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 16:18:12

For your registration forms, I now have ours online as a Google doc form. We still ask for exactly the same info as we always did but it causes far less whinging!

Might do that for the asc. Can't do it for the playscheme sadly as they need to be numbered as they are given out on a first-come-first-served basis. We turned away around 40 people last week at registration - it's bad enough controlling a queue without people having conspiracies about form misnumbering!

lalalalyra Mon 06-Mar-17 16:18:25

Thank you

Ours are just submitted online too, they come through as entries in a spreadsheet time and date stamped (just in case you get problems with the ASC, you can prove who was first to register!)

It's a lifesaver, we're in Scotland so some different rules but it's saved us mountains of saving, scanning and compiling documents.

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